Rita Rudner is very similar to her persona on television. The comedienne was with me promoting her upcoming show at The Venetian on April 2, where she performs dates from time to time throughout the year.
She has written four books. Her play “Tickled Pink,” is based on her novel that will be debuting sometime in 2013. It is based on her own experiences as a female comedian coming of age in the 80’s. There are three jokes a minute.
“The 80’s were a very important time for comedy,” Rudner said. “Johnny Carson was my favorite host.
“He was always very friendly to me and would come into the make-up room and say hi. He was always a very sweet guy. Jay Leno, and Letterman are really terrific at what they do, but they are more comedian first, and interviewer second.”
These days, working for herself is very important to Rita.
“Creative freedom is the most important thing when you are a creative person. I love doing stand-up and writing because no one tells you what to wear, or what to say, what order to do things…no one is telling me what to do. That’s what I love so much about this profession.”
When asked if she has trouble remembering lines she responded: “Not only do I remember the jokes, but I remember where I was when I thought of the joke as I’m telling it.
“Even if I make everyone laugh for the hour and a half, and everyone has a good time, I try to at least try 2-3 new avenues of material at each show, or I’ll have felt I let myself down.
“I always do questions and answers at the end of my show,” she added. “I answer the questions honestly, but I also bring in the jokes because I want to be entertaining. I sometimes bring out my joke notebook, and ask the audience if I can try these new jokes out on them. They like it and it helps me because they feel like they are in on something, and they are in on something.”
Rudner believes women in comedy have to hit harder.
“Women have to be twice as good at everything, because the positions of power are usually in the hands of men, and being a stand-up comedian is certainly a position of power. I love female comics because they are all so unique, and there are so many male comics that sometimes you can get them confused. But I think every female comic has a very individual voice.
“I don’t watch any comics really because I’m so busy with my daughter’s piano, tennis, guitar, etc., and I work. I do watch sports because it gets me away from things…And I love to watch other people exercise! I’m hoping it will get on me.
I love living in Vegas because my audience has jet-lag…and I’m fully awake. I really like doing my own show at The Venetian. It’s relaxing. I don’t really like when you’re on television, and you’re under a microscope, and you have to rush it in five minutes and be as funny as you’ve ever been.
“Even when I’m traveling…the lights are different, the sound is different. The Venetian is like my living room. I know what to expect. And that’s my favorite when I’m in my room in LV, and the audience has come to see me.”
Rita does a meet-and-greet before and after with her VIP audience. “I love to meet the people I’m going to make laugh in a few minutes, and it makes me less nervous to talk to the people before the show. It makes for a better experience. Las Vegas is a special place, and I want to give the audience a special time.”
Last week, I pre-taped an interview with radio personality/comedian Adam Carolla. Adam was promoting his Reunion Tour with Dr. Drew on March 29 at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay.
Carolla was first known for “The Man Show,” on Comedy Central, and “Loveline,” with Dr. Drew Pinsky. He now hosts The Adam Carolla Show, which set the record as the “most downloaded podcast” as judged by Guinness World Records. After interviewing him…I can see why.
We covered everything from his humble beginnings – working as a carpenter, carpet cleaner, and construction worker, to bombing in comedy clubs. Many questions were answered like how he got to be on the board for The Marijuana Policy Project, when it turned out he doesn’t even smoke marijuana!
Carolla was honest, funny, unpredictable, and did not disappoint. His persona was exactly the same off camera, as on. I’m really looking forward to seeing his show on Friday.
My full interviews with Adam and Rita will air on my radio show on Thursday.